Saddle Suggestions for Tile Floors

Tile is one of the most common flooring options for kitchens and bathrooms, frequently adjoining other types of flooring such as carpet and wood. Floor saddles, also called thresholds and transition strips, enhance these joints aesthetically by hiding small gaps. They also protect the edges of each floor material and prevent tripping hazards.

Wood Saddles

Saddles improve the transition between tile and wood floors.

Wood saddles provide an aesthetic frame between tile and wood floors. They denote the edge of wooden floors with like material, providing continuity at interfaces with tile surfaces. Select a wood saddle that matches the color of your wood floor. T-Molding-style saddles are commonly used to join these two surfaces. Bi-level reducer saddles are another popular choice if you need to join tile with solid hardwood floors of 3/4 of an inch or less.

Marble Saddles

Marble saddles provide a substantial look and feel to tile-to-carpet joints, which can give a tile floor an ornate, yet sturdy frame. For the best looks with marble saddles, select a neutral color that blends with your tile, or a darker color that matches another strong color in the room. Though marble saddles are simple to install, consider having them professionally cut as skilled care is required to prevent fractures. While they tend to be pricey, adding marble saddles to your home can increase its market value.

Aluminum Transitions

Aluminum saddles are a flexible cost option with a couple of advantages. The strip can be adjusted to different floor heights. It can be added after a tile floor and adjoining floor have been completed.


Whichever saddle you choose, begin installation by measuring the area of your transition, including the length and height difference if your floors have varying heights. Cut the saddle according to your measurements. Look at the directions with your saddle to determine the preferred method to cut your transition strip. Depending on the type of saddle you choose, you may use nails, screws, mortar, adhesive or fasteners to secure the saddle to the floor joint. For added stability, apply a line of silicone caulk or sealant under each edge of the saddle.

About the Author

Leslie Brown began writing professionally in 1998. She has worked as a journalist and editor at major daily and weekly newspapers, including "The Oklahoman." Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and print media from Oklahoma City University.